Shiatsu

Stardust Salon And Spa 
#1
After this thread, nude. All Welcome!


He didn't get far. Even on elongated legs built specifically for running, there was a point of exhaustion. Likewise, there was a point at which he knew if he did not change back, there were consequences. So the beast had slowed some time around two AM, and slipped silently along the back of a residential area until he found a yard with a clothes line. There wasn't much as far as options, so he had to settle on a sheet. It would work. He would have to figure it out. Maybe fasten it around him in the morning when and call it a toga if anyone questioned him. For now, he needed to find somewhere to settle down. The best he could do was the back of a spa, curled behind a rolling bin piled high with sacks of dirty towels and robes. Wrapped in the sheet, the hybrid would settle down and force himself to shrink back.

At four AM, he woke with a start, jerking upright and balling the fabric that draped over his body to his crotch out of instinct. In the moments in which his head struggled to catch up with his body, Mathis realized he was most certainly not alone.
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#2
She had only just gotten here, okay, and in her defense she did text all interesting minutia to either Cris or Savannah, and that included finding a naked catman by a laundry dumpster. So it was marginally less shitty than it looked, her standing at the other side of the back alley and either texting or taking a picture of him.

She might have thought of a more normal way to talk if she'd had time, but he just sort of jumped awake and so she jumped into whatever this was! "Did you just turn into a cat??" Her tone was excited, friendly and devoid of context, which of course it was!!
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#3
The second realization was the fact that he was incredibly exhausted. His body ached and his stomach twisted with hunger. The second realization was the overwhelming scent of death. And as his vision sharpened and the voice pulled his gaze in a specific direction, he realized with a violent clarity that it was coming from the woman standing nearby. Mathis jerked backward, his bare back slamming into the brick behind him as he fixed her with a furrowed glare. Fucking. Amazing. How he had run from an altercation with a vampire, only to be discovered by another vampire upon waking.

Her question only registered after a moment. Had he just turned into a cat? The answer was, of course, yes. But he would not give that to her. There was the hissing and spitting of the cat from within, exhausted and groggy but alert to the smell of rot. He might have allowed the cat to force him back into a feline, but the very thought brought a nausea upon him. He was entirely spent, and he could do nothing but stare at the woman. "Don't come closer." He managed in a rasp. He looked her over. She seemed harmless, but her stench was telling. And, he noticed, she had a phone. Without a phone or wallet, he had no way of calling for help. Fuck this evening.
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#4
Marybeth noted: he seemed threatened and scared. He did not seem to find being nude in a back alley to be a thing that was normal, although Marybeth's limited experience with catmen and bearmen and hyenamen didn't rule out that it was a sub-optimal occurrence. At his warning, she delicately closed her phone. "Okay!"

She herself was not at all threatened, because this was Magic Hollow and this was a naked man in a sheet! All she could think was to try and be neighborly. "You look not okay." Mmm...no, try harder. "You need help?"
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#5
His chest heaved, heavy and pounding. He felt trapped, pinned against a wall, and vulnerable. There was the idea of running, but there was no telling how far he would get wandering naked through the streets. Plus, he was two cities away. He wouldn't get there before morning, which opened him up to even more vampires swarming. Mathis' jaw clenched as the vampire spoke. At least she was kind enough to keep her distance, and even offered help. The man at the pawn shop had, as well. Mathis glanced at his hand. At some point, the glass that had jammed itself into the cut had fallen out, and he was left with a pink scar from the cut. His shoulder ached, but not as much as it might have without the shift.

Mathis swallowed hard as he looked back to the vampire. He did need help, but not from her. Not from a creature who's kind had brought him nothing but pain. Still. There was little in the way of options. "Your phone. I need to borrow." He said with a vague gesture. "If... can you slide it. Stay there." He repeated. If she neared him... he would likely not be able to keep his hold on the cat.
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#6
What on earth???? A foreign catman of all things! Maybe Cris was wrong, and shifter types did live forever, and that was why so many supernaturals you met were from other countries!

This line of thinking was not helpful to the actual real situation, and she reluctantly returned to reality, feeling the cool plastic of the phone in her hands. She definitely wanted to help? And she definitely went along with things that other folks might get suspicious about pretty regularly, but that didn't mean she would just chuck her phone over to a stranger who told her to stay away? "Hey, can you tell me what's going on first?"
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#7
Dammit woman. Mathis huffed at the question. Could she just make this easier? It was up to him, then. "I need to phone a friend. Just, please." He did well in keeping a tense growl from his voice. Mathis shuffled onto his feet then, pulling the sheet tight around his waist and fastening it. It was long enough to drag against the concrete. He was thankful there was no one but this woman to see him.
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#8
OH MARYBETH HEARD THAT HUFF. WITH HER SUPERNATURAL EARS. Her sharp little eyebrows dropped, and she watched him adjust his bedsheet with all the fierceness of a chickadee. You had to be nice to people who needed help, but not if they didn't treat you like a person. And so she remained strong! "No, but why are you naked behind a massage parlor?"
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#9
More questions. Mathis fixed the vampire with a hard look. Why was it so important to her to know? Could she not just lend him the phone for two seconds, and leave him be? His pale eyes shut for a moment as he moved a hand to pinch at his nose. None of this is how he wanted the night to have gone. How had he come to be naked behind a spa? A good question.

"I shifted, and could not make it home before shifting back. I need to call someone to pick me up." He kept it simple. No more questions.
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#10
She let out a small puff of breath at his answer, relieved to be back on track. That all made sense to her, and her face softened accordingly. She crouched down and began to duck-walk in his direction with the phone outstretched, looking at the ground as if eye contact might provoke him to attack, or flee. "I'm gonna set it in the middle here. Where did you run from?"

Obviously he was not interested in answering questions, obviously. But that didn't mean she could hold them in!
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#11
She was... a strange woman. He watched as she crouched and scooted closer, tensing and not daring to move forward until she was back to where she had been. At the question, he huffed through a clenched jaw. "The Lowlands." He lied, finding it more convenient than explaining the disaster he had left behind at Recollectables. There was a vampire there now, feeding from a corpse. Perhaps he would clean up the mess and try to cover tracks. Perhaps he would leave it and all evidence behind. Mathis could not think of that right now.

When she was far enough away, Mathis started forward cautiously. He took care in keeping light on his feet, ready to move into action at the drop of a hat. If nothing happened, he would stoop to grab the phone. Just touching something that belonged to a vampire made his skin crawl, but she had been nice enough to let him borrow it. For now, his exhaustion and desperation outweighed his discomfort. Phone in hand, he would shuffle back and look to the keys. A flip phone. He had not seen one in years.

There was a choice to be made here. His gut reaction was to call upon Yana. And he even punched in the beginnings of her number before hesitating. Guilt overwhelmed him. It weighed him down, and twisted his gut. Again, he had found himself in a disaster involving a vampire. Again, he would worry Yana. Again, he would prove himself reckless and useless in protecting the Coalition. She would likely let this be the last straw. Demote him, or send him away completely. The thought formed a lump in his throat that he fought against. His only other option was Frank, who's number was fresh on his mind. He'd taken care to memorize it, if ever there was a time he might need it. The idea of calling upon his friend was... warmer. There was more comfort in it, though still as much shame and embarrassment. He could have Frank take him home, and he would not have to speak a word of this to Yana. The greatest betrayal of trust. All to save face? It was hardly worth it. The decision was made in the bat of an eye, and he pushed on with Yana's number.

Incoming Call
Unkown Number

@Yana Novik
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#12
 The pinch of a four in the morning phone call, particularly in the post-vampire world in which they lived, was that it was hard to imagine that anyone would call at such a time with good news. So even if she wanted to roll over and ignore it outright, she knew better than to do that. Instead, she exhaled slowly, carefully. Turning on the bedside lamp and rubbed at her eyes as she picked up her phone and left it attached to the cord.

Mathis?
Yana

 As small of a group as they were, there was an almost alarming tendency to find they were quite suddenly up to their knees in trouble at any given moment.
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#13
It was Jupiter’s decision that the spa didn’t close. He wanted the place to be available for everyone of all species so in order to cater to the undead among them and not just the ones awake during the day, the Spa was open always. It was surprising how popular the joint was in the evenings, and Jupiter was thrilled about it.

Tonight was like any other, busy night in the salon, Jupiter had his hands full with a client that needed an extra bit of loving care with her nails, and once the devil woman was gone, he excused himself for a cigarette and headed out to the back alley. Before heading out there as usual, he checked the security feed on his phone and scowled.

So. There was a naked man. In his alley. He smirked to himself. "Thats dirty." he did a quick turn around, stopped at one of the massage rooms and snagged a big fluffy white robe off the shelf before heading outside cigarettes in one hand and robe sling over the opposite arm.

He outstretched said arm.

"Cold?"
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#14
Marybeth heard the sound of someone approaching through the back of the building, and her head retracted into her neck a bit as she watched a super-super-groomed man come out the back and act like this was normal. Which. This was not the first alley she'd ever lurked in, and she was pretty sure it wasn't! He smelled not supernatural, at first whiff, so that did not explain why he might be fine with a naked sheetman...hmm.

All this seemed slightly dicey, and so she thought on her feet. And spoke way too loud! "He was just leaving!" Nailed it! She gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up to the catman.
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#15
There was immediate regret at the sound of Yana's voice. The exhaustion, the worry. Mathis felt as if he would have preferred to just hang up and walk home naked in a sheet. But it was too late.

Yana. Its mathis, I need you to come- merda, hold on.

The sound of a back door opening behind him drew his attention from the phone, and he fixed the approaching man with an stitched-brow look. Now was incredibly the wrong time. He was pinned in an alleyway between a vampire and apparently someone that worked here, offering him a robe, and on the phone with his leader. Exhaustion kept his temper from flaring, though all he would have liked to do in that moment was fling the phone against the brick and dive into some trees for a shift. He couldn't.

The woman spoke loudly, and Mathis gave her a brief glance before speaking to the man quietly. "Sorry. Thanks." He took the robe, but did not make any move to put it on before speaking back into the phone.

I am behind a place called Stardust Spa in Magic Hollow. Can you come? I can't explain now, but I will on the way home.

There was the urge to tell Yana that he was currently borrowing a phone from a vampire, but given that the man did not smell particularly inhuman, he thought it best not to announce it aloud.
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#16
 She looked at the clock on her nightstand and briefly took the time to ponder if anyone in Mountainside who wasn't dead ever thought of the hard to place merit of sleep. Exhaling slowly, she cringed as she let her bare feet touch the hardwood, a small way to wake herself up a bit as she rushed towards her closet.

On my way, be careful and I'll be there as soon as I can.
Yana

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#17
He eyed the older woman for a moment. Had he walked in on some kind of prostitution thing? Not in his alley. "It's fine, I've seen worse." He gave a glance to the man up and down. "Nothing better tonight though." Hitting on him? Probably. But now really wasn't the time. The man took the robe and Jupiter gave him a tight smile, lighting a cigarette and waiting for the phone call to end. "No problem, bruv. Happens."

He leaned against wall beside the door, absorbing himself in his phone, and smoking his cigarette so that the man could feel at least a little bit like he had some privacy. He'd invite him into the spa for a coffee to warm up once the call was over and if his... mother? maybe? wanted to join them, she was obviously going to be welcome.
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#18
Marybeth had no biological need to hold her breath, but she did, gathering it up in one long gulp. She picked up names from the catman's conversation, her eyes flicking back and forth between the catman and the human.

Even Marybeth knew enough to find this scenario increasingly weird. She hummed briefly to herself and waited, weirdly, for her phone to be returned.
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#19
Mathis sighed shakily at Yana's words.

Si, yes. I will.

He assured her, then hung up the phone. He nearly made the subconscious move of stepping across the distance between them to hand the phone back to the woman. He did manage to stop himself short, thankful that he had or else he might have undone himself. Instead, he closed the phone and stooped, then pushed it to slide it across the pavement. It might have looked incredibly strange to the man here, but Mathis found it incredibly difficult to care. "Thanks." He said shortly. Would she linger? He thought it best she didn't. "I would not stick around." He eyed the vampire with a hard look. A warning. A fair one, at that.

As for the man... Mathis looked to him and the cigarette he smoked. "Could you spare one?" He rightly needed one. Fuck the guilt in the back of his head for failing on the attempt to quit. The guilt that occupied the majority of his mind easily clouded over it.
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#20
Jupiter glanced up at the woman and then back down at his phone. She was a little over the top wasn’t she? He didn’t do anything to show this thought though, simply waited for their business to be over with, half curious, half protective over the alleyway behind his business.

The naked man asked for a cigarette and Jupiter nodded, opening the pack and offering it to him with the lighter inside. "You need it more than I do."
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#21
Phone on the ground phone sliding on the ground!!!

Marybeth made a face of distress as she hopped toward it, crouching to pick it back up and look to the catman with a small but obvious hurt. She had helped him, and he was still being awfully mean. This did not appeal to Marybeth's sense of fairness.

She pocketed her phone and gave a last reproachful, kicked-puppy look at the catman and his human accomplice. Surely there was something to say here, something meaningful or cutting, but Marybeth could only think to shout, you're pretty rude! and she didn't think that would have a positive effect. "Well," she said instead, emphatically, and turned right the heck back the way she'd come.
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#22
The stranger, thankfully, was gracious. Mathis took a cigarette and the lighter as the vampire woman scoffed and marched off. He did feel a tinge of guilt, but it was lost in the storm of more vicious remorse. He paused a moment to shrug on the robe, and tied it around his waist before letting the sheet drop. A bit more comfortable now, and warmer, he put the cigarette between his lips and lit it. "My friend should be here soon. Sorry to loiter." He apologized again to the man as he handed back the lighter.
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#23
Jupiter raised an eyebrow at the show of distrust between the naked man and the woman, but ultimately did not intervene. It wasn’t his place and he didn’t feel as though he had near enough power to be effective against a shifter annnnd another shifter? He didn’t know what she was, but given that the man seemed perfectly comfortable with him he doubted that she was human. Or maybe he was just scared of women. No skin off Jupiter’s back.

Either way, the woman took her leave and Jupiter gave her a smile and a nod before looking to naked man and taking back the lighter and cigarette pack. "No problem. It’s not the first time people have used this alley to recover from a shift." he gestures with his phone "Granted, usually they’re usually clients that know this is a safe space, and I’d remember seeing you around here. " Flirting again. Maybe stop, Jupiter.

"Once you finish that smoke you’re more than welcome to come in for a coffee. "
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#24
It was disarming, the man knowing. He was not a shifter nor vampire, and yet he seemed to be keen to the situation. Perhaps Mathis might have questioned it, had he the energy. Instead, he huffed through a puff of smoke and nodded, his eyes flickering about the alleyway. Was this a common place for shifters to frequent? It seemed as much.

That man was, at the very least, hospitable. It eased him some. He did not know if he could handle more altercation for the night. Most would have called the cops on a nude man hanging around the back of their business. He was thankful that that was not the case. "Thank you." He said after another deep drag of the cigarette. "What is your name?" Small talk seemed exhausting, but it was in his nature to fill silence.
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#25
Jupiter finished his cigarette quickly, a true chain smoker at heart, and considered lighting another one to see if he could match the speed of the man smoking his. He did this quickly with the knowledge that he would put it out once the man was finished his and that it was kind of a waste.

"Jupiter; my parents were cruel. I’m the owner. " he jerked his thumb toward the building he was leaning against and took another long drag of the cigarette. "You?"
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#26
Jupiter. He nearly chuckled. Innovative parents. "Mathis." He had nothing to say of his own parents, whom likely would have nothing to ever say of him again. He eyed the second cigarette, and puffed on his own. "This is common for you? Naked men showing up at the back door of you establishment?" He could not imagine the stress nor the danger that posed. Especially to someone whom was not a part of the shifter community. There was a distant thought in the reaches of his mind that told him it was dangerous to let a man know of shifters without being one himself. Even if he were in the state of mind to think on it clearly, he would have come to the conclusion that if he were to cause any problems, Jupiter would have already.
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#27
The question made Jupiter laugh. He could twist the words so they were dirty, but didn’t want to make it awkward when they were getting along so well so far. Instead he just nodded "We’ve been a safe space for all species since the vampires were kicked out of the..."he tilted his head. Using the word closet didn’t seem fitting. "Coffin."

" Every now and then people make their way here and shift in the alley. We don’t mind."
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#28
There was an appreciation for an establishment like this, then. Mathis nodded, and even managed a small smile at the joke. The cigarette was quickly shrinking, and he was reminded to slow down by the faint dizziness in his head. "I can assume any security footage is safe, then, yes?" Less of a footprint, the better. He did hope the creature in the thrift shop had thought to attempt to destroy evidence. His phone and his wallet were still there. Along with a dead body. Fuck. He couldn't think on it now. Before he knew it, the cigarette was down to the butt, and he huffed as he pressed it against the wall behind him to snuff it out.

"I'll take that coffee." He said as an afterthought.
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#29
"Safe with me." he said firmly. It wouldn’t be deleted, because Jupiter might need it somewhere along the line and he was a stickler for his technology what could he say. "Only I have access to it."

The cigarette was only half done when Mathis finished his, but he dropped it to the ground anyways and put it out, waving his hand over the keypad so that green lights clicked on and they could go inside. He pulled the door open and stepped to the side to hold it open. "To the left, the room down to the very end."
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#30
He watched as the man wasted a cigarette, but said nothing of it. The warmth of inside was refreshing, though he hadn't been particularly cold. His bare feet were relieved on the cool tile, and he moved with purposed toward the room he was directed. A break room. There was a coffee maker on the counter, and Mathis did not waste time in approaching it and helping himself to a pod from the rack sat next to it. Perhaps in another situation, he might not have been so forward. Alas, his consideration was spent.
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#31
Jupiter closed the door and followed him down in the direction he’d instructed him, moving to tidy up the coffee table his employees had left magazines on. He stacked them and moved on to sit on one of the couches, he’d get up to get his own coffee once Mathis was done with his. Crowding a shifter was not on his list of things to do.

"That woman in the alley. What was she?" He asked curiously, and he wasn’t going to hold it against the man if he didn’t want to say it.
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#32
Thankfully, the coffee maker was quick. "A vampire." He said, having no qualms in exposing the woman. "I borrowed her phone." A small shrug as the coffee finished. He took it from the coffee maker, and didn't bother with creamers. A low sigh sifted through his nose as he made his way over to take a seat. He felt like curling up on the couch and sleeping for hours, but that wasn't an option. Instead, he sipped at the coffee and didn't mind the burn.
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#33
"I see." Jupiter nodded. He supposed that Mathis' reaction made sense knowing that she was a Vampire now. Some days it seemed that Weres and Vampires were polar opposites, and then he saw them conversing in his salon chairs and he knew that they weren't so different. They were all just trying to survive. He wished that everyone else saw it the same way as he did but was far too old and far too fragile to even consider becoming some sort of Supernatural Rights activist. Leave that to the teenagers of the world. College students that believed they were immortal and could possibly be with the right materials in this day and age.

He got up then and headed to the coffee maker, discarding the empty pod and tossing it into the garbage. "If you do need to use a phone again and find yourself naked in the Stardust alley, you are more than welcome to come inside." Coffee poured into the mug and Jupiter snagged the creamer from the mini fridge under the counter. He shook it and set it down. "And you're welcome to come by if you're not naked too."
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#34
After the chaos that was this evening, he was thankful for the kindness. ”Thank you. May I find myself here again under different circumstances.” He hummed. The next few minutes consisted of coffee sipping and small chatter, but before long Mathis was overcome by a familiar sensation. It was both comforting and daunting all in one. The human would not hear it, but his ears picked up the rumble of a car nearing, and with it did the feeling of Yana’s power. Mathis straightened and stood, and moved to place his mug in the sink. ”My friend is here.” He would say in explanation. The farewell would be brief, and when he left it would be with a business card held between his fingers.

Yana’s car was waiting behind the building. He realized then how ridiculous he likely looked, barefoot and in nothing but a white robe. He paused a moment, took in a deep breath, and moved to let himself into the passenger door. He would say nothing until the door was shut. When the locks clicked, his seat belt was buckled, and the engine rumbled, Mathis would look to his Queen, and he would crumble.
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